By Thomas Szasz
Fatal Freedom is an eloquent defense of every individual's right to choose a voluntary death. The author, a renowned psychiatrist, believes that we can speak about suicide calmly and rationally, as he does in this book, and that we can ultimately accept suicide as part of the human condition. By maintaining statutes that determine that voluntary death is not legal, our society is forfeiting one of its basic freedoms and causing the psychiatric/medical establishment to treat individuals in a manner that is disturbingly inhumane according to Dr. Szasz. His important work asks and points to clear, intelligent answers to some of the most significant ethical questions of our time: BL Is suicide a voluntary act? BL Should physicians be permitted to prevent it? BL Should they be authorized to abet it? The author's thoughtful analysis of these questions consistently holds forth patient autonomy as paramount; therefore, he argues, patients should not be prevented from exercising their free will, nor should physicians be permitted to enter the process by prescribing or providing the means for voluntary death.